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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010 7 years ago

Celeb designer teams up with Sarasota art studio

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

Ed Marin has only lived in Sarasota one year and already he’s bringing A-list, interior-design stars to town.

Marin, owner of Soicher Marin, a high-end design studio that specializes in outfitting luxury spas and hotels with boutique art, launched into a new project last month with celebrity interior designer Thom Filicia.

Filicia, the interior-design expert on the Bravo reality show, “Queer Eye,” now hosts two home-makeover shows on the Style Network — “Dress My Nest” and “Tacky House” — in addition to designing his own furniture line, which is where Marin comes into play.

Filicia had been looking for an art-design company to produce pieces for his new Thom Filicia Home Collection. A friend in California suggested he call Marin, whose company was a Los Angeles mainstay for 55 years, before Marin relocated it in November to North Sarasota.

“We hit it off right away,” says Marin, whose wife runs Yoga SRQ in Burns Court. “He’s not pretentious in any way. Everything about the guy is genuine. What you see is what you get, and having worked with him, I can tell you, he’s got great ideas.”

Marin and Filicia met in early July over a whirlwind three days. On the last night of Filicia’s stay, they pulled an all-nighter inside Marin’s studio, brainstorming ideas, matching mattes and frames, running image ideas back and forth to Marin’s design team.

“His stuff is accessible,” Marin says. “You don’t have to be a genius to figure it out. It takes me back to being a kid; the nostalgia of America, of a time that was perhaps simpler.”

Filicia was drawn to minimalist designs: a handful of leaves, an out-of-focus beach scene, airplanes, and other smatterings of Americana.

After working nearly 24 hours straight, the men decided to break. They met later that evening for dinner at Mediterraneo in downtown Sarasota, where Filicia shook hands with the cooks, the busboys and the wait staff.

“The purpose of the meeting was to process and digest what had been a very intensive e-mail dialogue into a plan of attack,” Marin says. “It was extremely productive, but by the end of the last day, we were toast.”

The Soicher Marin-Filicia collaboration has been a year in the making. Marin and Filicia have exchanged dozens of e-mails outlining how the artwork should look, its price point and the importance of dovetailing it with the rest of Filicia’s line.

Marin’s company has until September to finalize the designs. In October, they’ll unveil the collection with Filicia at High Point Market, a furniture trade show held in High Point, N.C., that attracts more than 100,000 furniture exhibitors and buyers from around the world.

The pieces will eventually be sold with the rest of Filicia’s collection at Robb & Stucky.

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